Here comes a mysterious day when you look at yourself and realize being a grown-up person. It hits you like news, no matter what age you are at that moment. You suddenly get this feeling of being able to do whatever you want or going whenever you wish (and not coming back!). However, you might also realize that you are no longer interested in doing things you enjoyed before, like spending time with some friends or staying up till 6 am. You have outgrown this like many other things (for example, Tom and Jerry Sweatshirt) in your life. Probably you didn’t notice some of these changes, or they didn’t appear that important. But let us dive into the ocean of adulthood and travel through the feeling of outgrowing. These moody, autumn blues days are perfect for such a Sci-Fi inspired traveling.
Outgrowing Your Favorite
Once in a while, we tend to reflect on our accomplishments. Have you ever thought about activities you stopped doing at some point in your life? Please take a couple of minutes to think of them. I bet you’ll be surprised! Maybe you have lost interest in your once-favorite sport, or your go-to movie genre does not amuse you anymore (could someone convince you to watch a horror movie again?!). You might feel like you are losing yourself and hurry to pick up these activities again. But don’t let your fear trick you.
Helpful tip: remember why did you actually stop doing those things and what other activities have filled their place in your life. Maybe everything has turned into more happiness?
Outgrowing a Job
We all have bad days at work. It may be just an unsuccessful presentation, but sometimes it is time to move on. How to tell the difference? You are no longer proud to say where you work, you don’t find your job challenging anymore, or you spend more time daydreaming about “what-ifs” than actually getting work done. If you can tick all these imaginary boxes, it is time to start experimenting. Make a list of at least ten specific jobs that would be interesting to you. Don’t feel embarrassed – let yourself dream. It is just a list. Then, think about how you could get a glimpse of these positions. Maybe volunteering would give you an idea about an organization, or a lecture delivered by someone already working in your desirable workplace would help to understand the role better. Take small steps and build a picture of a place you could flourish next.
Outgrowing a Relationship
That is a tough one. Some people are meant to be by your side only for a specific time. Maybe for a reason, season, or infinity. Now it might be the right time for someone who can encourage you to push your boundaries or someone special who can bear the silence while sitting with you. You are that person for someone else too, so there is no need to blame anyone for changing. It is not your fault. It is hard to admit that your friend or lover no longer shares the same vision or cannot understand you anymore. You are evolving, and even if you would like to bring that special someone on the journey, remember that some just don’t like traveling at all. We might feel stuck and lonely, but I am sure that people with similar interests tend to show up in our lives, and then again, we can take a deep breath of fresh air.
Outgrowing a Place
The rush to leave your hometown and come to live in a big city is real. But the city tends to have the same quality as the closet – it shrinks rather quickly. Some of us might enjoy knowing every little street in the neighborhood, while others can feel uninspired when going to the same places for over a decade (it would be quite an achievement for a place to stay open this long!). Reaching a point when you can no longer say anything positive about a place you live signals you the answer – move on. Also, note that when avoidance of your many ex-something becomes like a part-time job, it is time to spread your wings too. It will be stepping out of your comfort zone, and you will fear the unknown, but you know what? You can always move to another place or come back, if you realize you are not satisfied with your choice. Don’t limit yourself.
While reading this article, you might find yourself either in one of the outgrowing phases or experiencing all of them at once. Prepare yourself for all kinds of scary scenarios building up in your head. Despite that, keep in mind that changes are a natural thing in life. If you look five or ten years back, you will realize that now you are standing for something your school/college/old self has never thought of. If we continue growing, we will continue outgrowing things. I have only recently watched the Mad Men TV series, though it is already an outgrown period for most of my friends. Don’t worry – I will not quote Don but rather choose Betty Draper’s line – “It’s been a gift to me to know when to move on”.